INSTEAD of the latest on Hollywood stars, moviegoers may get a dose of advocacy this month when they settle into their seats for the feature presentation. Coming to theaters are commercials that are intended to spell out the perils of frivolous lawsuits as told by “everyday Americans,” including small-business owners who have been hit with costly lawsuits they believed were arbitrary and abusive.
The state House floor fight this week on the Texas Department of Insurance sunset bill is expected to become the major battlefield in this year's tort reform fight amid speculation that Democrats and some Republicans will attempt to load it up with amendments as a vehicle for the trial lawyers highest priority items at the Capitol in 2009.
A couple of victories for trial lawyers in key votes at the Texas Capitol this year may be more a sign of a territorial war between the Legislature and the state Supreme Court than a significant shift of the pendulum away from tort reform.
“My trial lawyer friends always begin a discussion about HB 1657 by highlighting the BP plant explosion. The facts about the BP plant explosion as they present them are compelling. The injuries suffered by workers there were beyond horrible. But the Entergy Bill (HB 1657) is not about that explosion. It is about workers’ compensation, workers safety and whether we want to kill Texas jobs at a time when our economy is not as strong as it should be.
Court cases get dismissed all the time, but rarely are dismissals as significant as the two lawsuits against Dole Food and other companies that were tossed recently by a California judge. Among other good things, the ruling is a setback for tort lawyers who troll abroad seeking dubious claims to bring in U.S. courts.
Officially, John A. Ulizio is the CEO of U.S. Silica, one of the nation's largest producers of industrial sand. Unofficially, he's the man who fought the tort bar -- and won. It's a singular distinction in the world of runaway lawsuits.
The Texas Senate has passed a bill that will harm an already struggling economy, and soon the House will consider it. This legislation, CSSB 1123, threatens employers by allowing “no proof” asbestos lawsuits.